Devin Robertson had a big payday at Zwartkops where he won both rounds of the Engen Volkswagen Cup and took the bonus points for the fastest race lap as well. His championship lead at the halfway point of the season extends to 26 points over fellow Signature Motorsport team-mate Clinton Bezuidenhout, while Matt Shorter had a solid day and Benjamin Habig is lying in 10th on the leaderboard, giving Signature Motorsport a strong representation in the championship standings.
Devin was 0.014 seconds off pole position, the Payen Polo circulating on rails around the tight 2.4km circuit west of Pretoria. Clinton ran true to his form this year, planting his Glyco Polo in third place, 0.33 seconds off pole. Matt (Moog Polo) was 0.46 seconds away, but such is the competitive nature of the series that he was left in seventh place while Benjamin was a distant 15th in his Nural Polo, not hooking up his car on his first visit to the track.
Race one was fraught going into turn one, where Clinton, Devin and Juan Gerber tried to go three-abreast which was never going to work. Body contact and a huge dust cloud saw Devin emerge in the lead with clear evidence of the robust racing on his car’s body panels but undaunted, Devin controlled the race to cross the line 1.2 seconds clear of Tasmin Pepper and Shaun La Reservee. Clinto recovered from his first corner melee to finish fourth. Matt made up a position to end sixth after some close racing with Jeffrey Kruger and Justin Oates, while Benjamin made up six places to end ninth after a great drive.
The grid draw for race two positions saw Devin line up in third, Matt fourth and Clinton in sixth place. Undeterred, Devin raced to the front of the field by lap three and pulled away from the pack to take his second victory by a comfortable 1.6 seconds. Matt held station to end the race a feisty fourth while Clinton made up one place to end in fifth. Benjamin again had a great racing passing one rival every second lap on average, to take a point for tenth place.
Quotes from the cockpit:
Devin Robertson (#12 Payen): “The car was supreme all weekend. I made a small mistake in qualifying, getting a bit sideways through turn four. In race one we had a bit of an altercation through the first corner: I was squeezed between Clinton and Gerber but got through and into the lead which I held throughout the race. In race two, I made it into the lead by lap three and after that it was plain sailing to the chequered flag. It was a great weekend for me”.
Matt Shorter (#11 Moog): “Qualifying was super close and although I was only 0.4 seconds off pole, it left me in seventh place. I had good pace but the two safety cars cut short my chances of making up more places. In race two I was stuck behind Tasmin and then Clinton passed me so I fell to fifth. On the last lap, Clinton slowed and I made a lunge and beat him across the line by 0.02 seconds to get fourth. I earned solid points today so I am happy”.
Clinton Bezuidenhout (#38 Glyco): “I put the car in the wall during free practice so taking third in qualifying wasn’t too bad. I took the lead in turn one but it was chaos after that. I dropped back behind La Reservee so fourth wasn’t too bad. In race two I passed Matt and Gerber to take fourth but towards the end of the race a wheel bearing started to seize and I slowed which allowed Matt to re-pass me on the line. It was a tough weekend but I’m still second in the championship so it’s not too bad”.
Benjamin Habig (#18 Nural): “I never found the ideal set-up in practice and had a disappointing qualifying session, well down where I would expect to be. We made some changes for the race which worked well and I could pass six guys in eight laps which made it a good race. In race two I had good pace but over heated the tyres which lost me drive out of corners and I could only make it up to 11th”.
The Signature Motorsport Team heads to Port Elizabeth for the fifth round of the series on 15th July.